Croatian President and Armed Forces Supreme Commander Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Tuesday presented Chief Of Staff General Drago Lovric with the King Petar Kresimir IV order, while French Ambassador Michelle Boccoz presented him with the French Legion of Honour order, bestowed on him by President Francois Hollande in January.

Lovric was awarded the Croatian decoration for his outstanding contribution to the creation of war strategy and military doctrine, the establishment of the Croatian Armed Forces and success in leading their units. He received the French decoration for his outstanding contribution to peace and stability in Europe, his committed and active work in the strengthening of Croatian-French cooperation as well as within NATO and the European Union.

Congratulating Lovric, whose five-year term expires this month, Grabar-Kitarovic said the Croatian Armed Forces developed considerable defence capabilities under his term, both independently and within NATO, as well as undergoing a major command and administrative reorganisation.

Ambassador Boccoz said the French decoration bestowed on Lovric combined a soldier's courage and commitment to serving one's nation.

She said Lovric was decorated as a soldier who defended his country despite the risk to his own life, as an officer who served his country all the way to becoming its military chief of staff, on which position he was "a builder of regional stabilisation, dialogue and cooperation between neighbouring countries."

Boccoz also highlighted the military reform carried out by Lovric so that Croatia would have a modern and experienced army capable of participating in all EU and NATO operations for the common security. "From the mountains of Afghanistan to the plains of Kosovo, from the coasts of Somalia to the sands of Golan, the Croatian Armed Forces have shown their worth, discipline and efficiency," she said.

"This decoration is also part of a wider plan to bring Croatia and France closer, as reflected by a defence agreement signed in Paris in 2013. Our countries have recently cooperated closely and concretely several times. As two EU nations, we are called upon to face the challenges of collective security together. Let this decoration that I present to you, for the first time in independent Croatia, also mark this important step in bilateral relations in the areas of defence and security between France and Croatia," the ambassador said.

Thanking Grabar-Kitarovic and Hollande, General Lovric said he saw the two decorations as thanks for his exemplary and loyal service to the homeland and as a crown of his career.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.